Heated Rush [NOOK Book]

Overview

You know you're hard up when you have to buy a date...

But Annie Davis's big family reunion is looming, and she needs a stand-in man fast or she'll never hear the end of it. Any gorgeous guy will do. Her solution? The drop-dead-sexy man at the charity bachelor auction. His good looks and blue-collar background make him perfect for her! Or is he?

Sean Murphy has a bit of a surprise for Annie. Not only is he not blue-collar, he's actually a ...

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Heated Rush

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Overview

You know you're hard up when you have to buy a date...

But Annie Davis's big family reunion is looming, and she needs a stand-in man fast or she'll never hear the end of it. Any gorgeous guy will do. Her solution? The drop-dead-sexy man at the charity bachelor auction. His good looks and blue-collar background make him perfect for her! Or is he?

Sean Murphy has a bit of a surprise for Annie. Not only is he not blue-collar, he's actually a sophisticated European entrepreneur, one who's made pleasuring women an art form. And he wants to permanently pleasure Annie! But Sean knows that if she discovers his secret, their wickedly delicious liaison will be over. Lucky for both of them, he's learned enough tricks to keep Annie distracted for a long, long time....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460314784
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 2/15/2013
  • Series: Wrong Bed: Again and Again , #408
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 264,816
  • File size: 534 KB

Meet the Author

Leslie is a stay-at-home mother of three, who started writing as a creative outlet after one too many games of Chutes & Ladders. After meeting a group of other women with a similar interest in writing, she became part of a critique group and started spinning the story of a sexy radio D.J. That book, the first she ever wrote, was purchased off the slush pile by an editor at Harlequin Temptation.

Night Whispers (Harlequin Temptation #747) earned Leslie the NONA (Notable New Author of 1999) Award from OV-RWA, several Reviewer's Choice Awards, the award for "Best Romantic Suspense of 1999" from Romance Communications, second place in the Short Contemporary category for VCRW's Laurel Wreath Award for Excellence in Published Romance Fiction, and the National Reader's Choice Award for "Best Short Contemporary Romance of 1999."

Leslie's second book, Suite Seduction, was released in December 2000 as part of Harlequin Temptation's popular The Wrong Bed miniseries. It was recently named a finalist in the Colorado RWA's Award of Excellence competition. Her latest Harlequin Temptation, titled Relentless (August 2001) is part of the Heat miniseries.

Leslie is one of the founding members of SpacecoasT Authors of Romance (STAR) in Brevard County, Florida, and served as its first full-term president. She has presented workshops and programs at several writers' conferences and chapter meetings throughout Florida and Georgia, has appeared on television and radio talk show programs, and has judged writing contests from around the country.

Leslie's recent success has not distracted her from her main priorities: herhusbandof 15 years and her three young daughters.

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Read an Excerpt

Given the choice between sticking flaming skewers up her nose and attending her own parents' thirty-fifth anniversary party without a date, Annie Davis would, without hesitation, reach for the lighter fluid and a match. Instead, she was reaching for her checkbook. Wondering just how far she could go—how much she could spend—to ensure she avoided a fate worse than burned nostrils.
"Twenty-five hundred, that's all I can swing," she murmured, reminding both herself, and her friend Tara, who sat beside her at an empty table near the back of the hotel ballroom. Twenty-five hundred was about as much as she could stretch it and still make her bills, as well as eat next month.
Tara, who occasionally helped out at Baby Daze, Annie's successful day care center, had come only to this charity bachelor auction for moral support. Her aspiring actress's checkbook wouldn't allow room for a guy auctioned off in a Salvation Army parking lot, much less one at Chicago's glamorous Inter-Continental Hotel.
If she were honest, Annie's couldn't bear the strain, either, and her savings account was strictly for emergencies only. Sheer desperation had driven her here tonight. Desperation caused by the thought of a weekend back home—sans a guy—being pitied and clucked over by all the women in her family, teased by all the men, especially her brothers, and set up by everyone else in her small hometown. Not to mention answering the inevitable questions about why she was alone when her entire family knew she'd been dating a nice, handsome man for the past several weeks.
Looking into her parents faces and admitting that nice, handsome man she'd been seeing had been a marriedjerk? She'd sooner add raw meat to those flaming skewers and call herself shish kebab. Wiping out her checking account seemed a small price to pay to avoid the agony. Maybe the savings, too.
No. Not a chance. Not unless Johnny Depp and Josh Duhamel both appeared on that stage, offering a weekend of pure carnal exploitation to the high bidder.
"Nobody has gone for less than three thousand so far," Tara reminded her. The petite brunette, usually bubbly and sassy, sounded uncharacteristically pessimistic. "Not even the wimpy-looking blond dude who made a complete dork of himself doing that pretend striptease."
Annie cringed, wishing she had a bar of soap to wash away the mental image of the pale twenty-some-thing doing a white-men-can't-dance bump-and-grind that had women near the front pretending to swoon. Ick. Bringing someone like that home to meet her family? She'd probably do better picking up a homeless person who wanted to make a few bucks for a weekend holiday in small-town U.S.A.
Now there's an idea….
It would definitely be cheaper than this ritzy charity auction. "Maybe I should just check out the park benches near the El. There's bound to be some guy who will do it for a whole lot less than twenty-five hundred."
"You're desperate," Tara reminded her. "Not suicidal."
"Is that any riskier than what I'm doing now? These guys are all strangers, too."
The only difference was they were being paraded and hawked in front of a crowd of rich, half-past-tipsy-and-well-on-their-way-to-being-drunk women in a hotel ballroom. Yes, they were offering legitimate dates—romantic dinners, beach walks, afternoon cruises and picnics—to the highest bidder. But these men were still complete strangers to her.
Besides, she wasn't even certain she'd be able to talk any bachelor she won into going along with her visit-the-folks date rather than whatever he'd offered.
So why was she doing this again?
Tara seemed to read her mind. "Desperate times call for…"
"An escort service?"
Tara snorted. "Sure, show up at your folks' with a male hooker. That'll go over real well."
"He wouldn't necessarily be skeevy. He could be nice, normal, handsome."
"Stop channeling that movie The Wedding Date." Tara smacked Annie on the arm with her rolled-up auction brochure. "Professionals like that one don't really exist."
"But I need a Plan B," she mumbled, knowing time was running out. Maybe some decent-looking young man coming out of the unemployment office? As long as he had all his teeth and four limbs, how would her family know he wasn't the one she'd been dating?
Or even three limbs…he could be a noble accident survivor.
Noble was good. Very good. Which was why she'd immediately scanned tonight's program looking for firefighter, rescue worker or policeman types. Her dad would totally be into that.
Her family didn't know what her ex-boyfriend, Blake, did for a living. They knew almost nothing about her relationship with him at all. Just that she'd been swept off her feet by someone tall, dark and handsome. They didn't know specifically what he looked like. So she could introduce practically anybody and say he was the wonderful guy she'd been telling her family about.
Well, anybody except the real wonderful guy, who'd turned out to be nothing more than a wonderful liar.
"Stop thinking about Blake the Snake."
"Are you a mind reader?"
"No, you're just incredibly easy to figure out, Miss wholesome, blond, always-smiling girl-next-door. Whenever you think about him, your face scrunches up, your lips disappear into your mouth and you look like you want to hit somebody." Shrugging and sipping from her beer, Tara added, "Of course, you look that way when you fight with one of the über-mamas, too, but none of them are here."
über-mamas. That was the name she and Tara had come up with to describe some of Annie's more difficult clients. There weren't many, but a few ultraorganized, ambitious, arrogant mothers of the children cared for at Baby Daze seemed to view day care providers as overpaid dog walkers. As if there was no more to watching a toddler than changing his diaper.
"You weren't in love with him, you've admitted that much. And you hadn't even slept with him."
"Thank God." Something had held her back, some intuition. She'd blessed that intuition when she'd found out her Divorced Mr. Wonderful was, despite his claims to the contrary, Married Mr. Cheating Pig.
"So forget him."
"I have. Almost. I just have to get through this weekend and then I can pretend I never knew the man."
"Tell me again why you can't just tell your family what happened? It's not like any of it was your fault."
"You met my folks when they came to visit me last spring. Do you really need to ask that question?"
Tara pursed her lips and slowly shook her head. She'd had a firsthand glimpse at Annie's life as the only daughter in an overprotective, small-town family who wanted her back home, married, and pushing out babies—now, if not six months ago. If they found out their "little girl" had had a bad affair with a married man, they'd harass her endlessly to give up her dreams of big-city success and come home where she could meet a decent local boy and settle down.
"Forget I asked."
"I'll get someone to play boyfriend, let them all see I'm blissfully happy and fine, then gradually stage a breakup over a series of weekly phone calls."
Satisfied with at least that much of the plan, she reached for her drink, still musing over a possible Plan B. The man she showed up with didn't have to be really handsome just because she'd told her family he was. Somebody much more plain and normal-looking than any of these sexy bachelors being auctioned off to support a kid's Christmas charity would do.
Beauty was, as she knew, in the eye of the beholder, and her family understood that. Just last year her brother, Jed, had convinced them all he'd met a future Miss America. His fiancée, however—a sweetheart whom the family adored—more resembled a Miss Pillsbury Dough Girl.
So maybe they'd think she'd simply exaggerated about how handsome her new guy was. Or that she was wildly in love, just as her brother had been. She didn't have to bring home a guy who looked like…like…
Oh, my God, like him.
Once again, as it had been doing all night, her gaze drifted toward the table, and the auction program lying open upon it. About two minutes had elapsed since her previous covetous glance, which was the longest she'd gone all evening without at least a peek at Bachelor Number Twenty, described as a good-natured rescue worker. An all-out hero. Absolutely perfect.
In addition, the man was an all-out hunk-a-holic.
As she stared at those midnight blue eyes, Annie's heart again played a quick game of hopscotch in her chest. Just as it had the moment she'd spotted him, this complete stranger, whose name she didn't know but whose face and body were as familiar as her last erotic dream.
Those cheekbones were high and prominent, the nose strong, the jaw carved from granite. Visible on one earlobe was a tiny stud of gold. His lips were slightly pursed in a sexy, come-hither smile that no real man could pull off and still look so damned masculine. The sleekness of his thick, nearly jet black hair—long, silky and tied back in a sexy ponytail—and the violet glint in those fathomless blue eyes simply had to be the product of a photographer with the latest Photoshop software.
Who cares? You're not going to win him. Not a chance. Not with what that last guy went for.
And suddenly, she couldn't stand to see who did win him. Nor did she really want to see the man in the flesh, because, honestly, the picture had to have been majorly touched up. No man was really that good-looking in person.
Before she could move, however, Tara pointed at the stage, where the announcer was milking the audience, building things up to the final moment of the night. The big finish. Bachelor Number Twenty.
"This auction was your best chance, and this next guy is your last chance. So don't blow it."
"We should just go." Annie put her hands flat on the table to push her chair back. "This isn't going to work."
"Come on, what's money for if not to blow? We both know this last guy's the one you've had your eye on all night."
Had she really been that obvious? Maybe only to Tara, who had been the first friend she'd made when she'd moved to Chicago five years ago. Then again, her family had always told her that she should never play poker because she wore her emotions the way rich women wore their jewelry: blatantly.
"Have you noticed how much emptier the room is?" Tara leaned close, trying to convince her as much with her calm tone as with her words. "Half the women in the place got up and left after that last guy went, the international businessman."
Annie had noticed, though she didn't understand it. "Still can't quite figure out why though," she mumbled.
Ten minutes ago, when Bachelor Number Nineteen had gone for an unbelievable sum—twenty-five thousand dollars—the crowd had begun to rapidly disperse. As if some of the bejeweled, fur-wearing women had come only for that one man. Entire groups of women had flounced out, thinning the room considerably and emptying a dozen tables near the front.
The brown-eyed bachelor had been good-looking. But, in Annie's opinion, he couldn't hold a candle to the last man of the night. "I bet the high price scared everyone away because it means this next guy's going to go for fifty thousand."
"I don't think so." Tara leaned even closer. "The Junior League set is gone. Look who's left… Just rowdy blue-collar chicks like us."
Annie cast a quick look around, noting the laughter and easy, laid-back atmosphere in the room. And she began to wonder if Tara was right. These looked more like two-for-one happy hour girls instead of the Dom Perignon types who'd been involved in the bidding frenzy for Bachelor Number Nineteen.
Tara tapped the tip of a red-painted nail on the face of the sexy bachelor. "You can win him, Annie. And you deserve to."
Maybe….
"Look at his picture," Tara snapped. "Talk about saving the best for last. Go for it or I'll never speak to you again!"
On some days, that would probably be a blessing, but Annie was too caught up in the moment to think about it.
As the auctioneer began reading the last bachelor's bio, the remaining women quieted. Annie's pulse, which had accelerated throughout the evening as she pretended interest in some of the other men—even halfheartedly bidding on a few of them—picked up its pace. Her blood began a steady gallop through her veins, her quick, shallow breaths leaving her a little light-headed.
"You can go higher than twenty-five hundred. You know you can squeeze out a few more bucks," Tara whispered.
"You're pretty quick to empty my bank account," she muttered. How much do I have in savings?
"Raid the penny jar in the playroom. The kids won't miss one more alphabet puzzle. They hate those stupid educational toys, anyway."
"Shh!"
Willing the announcer to hurry up, she watched for a movement behind the black curtain, half wanting to flee to avoid disappointment, but wanting even more to catch a firsthand glimpse of that man in the flesh. Just to find out if he could possibly be real.
"I'll share my PB and J's every day next month if you end up on the verge of starvation." Grinning impishly, Tara added, "But hopefully you'll be so satisfied by your purchase that you won't be hungry at all."
Annie shook her head, denying that possibility to both of them. "This is a business arrangement. A weekend to get my family off my back, without them ever finding out about…"
"Blake the Snake."
Exactly.
"There's nothing personal about it. I've learned my lesson about hooking up with handsome, sweet-talking men. You're looking at a woman in complete control of her libido."
She meant it. Every word. She was confident, strong, secure, and certain she could handle just about anything.
But then the curtain opened and a black-haired god stepped out. Even from here, Annie could see the glint of something wicked and suggestive in his expression.
The photo hadn't conveyed the broadness of his shoulders, the leanness of that tall male body. He was wrapped in a black tux that looked as if it had been sewn around him, it fit so perfectly.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 245 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(105)

4 Star

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3 Star

(46)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 246 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I liked it

    I liked this book. I thought the first one, "Slow Hands" was better but this book isn't too bad. A quick read with some hot love scenes (some in locations I never would've thought of!) and some funny banter between the two characters. A good book for the beach or a rainy day.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Very entertaining. I enjoyed the story very much and it ties ne

    Very entertaining. I enjoyed the story very much and it ties neatly with the "Slow Hands" story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Great Read

    Haven't read these since highschool, thought it would be cheesy. Instead I found it was a very romantic and well written story. Sure there was a lot of sex in it, but isn't that implied with these. I also enjoyed the companion story Slow Hands which follows another couple from the story. Loved the way the author ended it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    Did not like.

    I really enjoy the "Blaze" books, but I just could not get into this story line. I'm still trying to figure out if it's the story line that or the author's writing style. In fact, I did not finish the book. Had I bought it at a B/N store, I would have returned it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    recommend

    good book i would recommend it and would by other books from this author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    nice read

    I actually laughed out loud several times thru this book. Nice easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    Maybe

    Npt very impressive

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Great

    I love a hot sexy Irishman!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    Didn't read

    Couldn't get into the storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Great read

    This was a great free novel. I wouldnt have even mind paying for it. And im a HUGE romance reader. Defineatly recommend it if you like a good love story

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Loved It

    Really love these books. I have read many of the Harlequin Blaze books by Leslie Kelly. They really bring out the enjoy the passion in the stories. I have read about 8 of them and they seem to be getting better with each book that I read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    Heated Rush lived up to its name!

    Enjoyed this continuation on the "Slow Hands" story by Leslie Kelly. It was not as I expected - which was delightful! I really like it when the authors do an epilogue and tie up the loose ends...makes for a "happily ever after" for all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Great read!

    This author never disappoints. I read Slow Hands first and had to get this one to see what happened to other characters. So glad I did! I will buy more of her books!

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    second in the blaze series...

    ...a hit with me! i'm hooked!

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    this book was just as awesome as the first one SLOW HANDS

    this book eas just as great as the first named SLOW HANDS the only thing i wish is that they both had the couples getting married need to write two more with the same couples a couple years later

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    Pretty good Harlequin Romance

    This book is pretty much what you expect from a Harlequin Romance. I enjoyed reading it and the first book Slow Hands.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 246 Customer Reviews

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